A winning combination against the mosquito transmitter of dengue and chikungunya
The combination of two tiger mosquito control techniques proved to be effective in almost completely eliminating these disease-carrying insects such as dengue and chikungunya, in a study conducted in two places in China, the results were published on Wednesday.
The researchers radiated the female mosquitoes to sterilize and infect the males with bacteria that prevented them from reproducing themselves with uninfected females, explained to Nature magazine.
This experiment represents "an important step forward and demonstrates the potential of this new tool," said Peter Armbruster, professor of biology at the University of Georgetown, in the United States, in a study commentary.
The team of researchers led by Zhiyong Xi, of the University of Michigan (United States) and the Sun Yat-sen University of Canton (China), carried out their experiment for two years in two Islands located in rivers near this city in southern China.
The region has one of the highest rates of dengue transmission in the country.
As a result, the average number of females – those that choke human beings and, therefore, constitute a threat of transmission of the virus they carry – dropped between 83% and 94%, and they lasted up to six weeks without Capture to any copy.
And the number of bites reported by the inhabitants of the area decreased by 97%.
The mosquito Aedes aegypti, or tiger mosquito, is the main vector of dengue, Zika virus, chikungunya and yellow fever. It is responsible for the infection of millions of people around the world every year.
The measures commonly used to control its proliferation and the epidemics it transmits (repellents, mosquito nets) are reaching their limits due to the adaptability of this species, which develops mainly in urban areas and has the particularity of stinging during the day.